Skip to main content

Channel Surfing: Clooney Returns to "ER," Gondry Directs "Conchords," Patti LuPone Heads to "30 Rock," and More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing. I'm sure many of us didn't get a very good night's sleep after the last night brought us the two-hour premiere of Lost, new installments of Damages and Top Chef, and the launch of FOX's Lie to Me. Since when did Wednesday become the go-to night for top-notch television programming?

George Clooney is filming scenes this week on NBC's ER, where he will reprise his role as Dr. Doug Ross. He last appeared on the series in an uncredited cameo in 2000. No word on whether he'll bring Ross' Caesar cut with him. (Entertainment Tonight)

Season Two of HBO's Flight of the Conchords has lined up a host of intriguing guest stars including Saturday Night Live's Kristin Wiig, My Boys' Jim Gaffigan, and Lost's Alan Dale. Also of note: Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) directed the February 15th episode, in which Jemaine dates an Australian (shock horror!). (Chicago Tribune's The Watcher)

Patti LuPone has been cast in an upcoming episode of NBC's 30 Rock, where she will play the mother of TGS staffer Frank. (Yes, really, Frank.) Lupone was most recently seen on the small screen on ABC's Ugly Betty, where she played the mother of Michael Urie's Marc. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

ABC is keeping Samantha Who? benched until this spring; the comedy series was originally supposed to return on January 12th but the timeslot will now be filled by two-hour editions of reality series The Bachelor through its entire run, concluding March 2nd, and by two-hour editions of Dancing With the Stars to air March 9th, March 16th, and March 23rd. (Futon Critic)

NBC is said to be considering a sequel or potential primetime spin-off of Sunday night's miniseries The Last Templar. Should the Peacock order a sequel to the four-hour mini--which stars Scott Foley and Mira Sorvino, it would be set in India. (Hollywood Reporter)

UK network Sky1 has acquired exclusive free and basic TV rights plus non-exclusive VOD and download-to-own rights to FOX's Lie to Me, which launched Stateside last night. Sky1 plans to launch the series in the spring. (Variety)

Hilary Duff has been cast in an upcoming episode of CBS' Ghost Whisperer, where she will play a mysterious woman who may have been involved in a man's death. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

USA has pushed the launch of Season Eight of Law & Order: Criminal Intent once again, this time until this summer. Season Eight, featuring Jeff Goldblum as Detective Zach Nichols (taking over for Chris Noth), was originally to launch in November 2008, three months after the end of the seventh season; in both cases, the explanation given was the cabler's wish to air all sixteen episodes of Season Eight in a row. (TV Guide)

NBC has hired outside marketing firm Naked Communications to revamp its brand. "We're thinking about how we market the brand, how we present ourselves to the advertising community at upfront and how we present ourselves to the consumer," said Adam Stotsky, president of entertainment marketing at NBC. "Naked is working with us to sharpen our image, (as we) look for a fresh perspective on how we go to market." (Variety)

Reality television employees have settled a class action suit against FOX, CBS, ABC, and several production companies including Rocket Science Laboratories to the tune of more than $4 million dollars. The action, filed in 2005, alleged that the defendants violated wage and hour laws by underpaying story department employees and failed to provide meal periods or maintain accurate payroll records. (Variety)

Stay tuned.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Argh. There's too much on Wednesday nights now with Lost, Damages, and Top Chef! I really wish they at least would have scheduled Lost and Damages on two separate nights. They are two of my favorite shows but it's tough watching both in one evening. Too much drama!
Anonymous said…
I love Kristin Wiig and can't wait to see her on Conchords. And I think it's fantastic that Michel Gondry directed an episode!

Popular posts from this blog

Katie Lee Packs Her Knives: Breaking News from Bravo's "Top Chef"

The android has left the building. Or the test kitchen, anyway. Top Chef 's robotic host Katie Lee Joel, the veritable "Uptown Girl" herself (pictured at left), will NOT be sticking around for a second course of Bravo's hit culinary competition. According to a well-placed insider, Joel will "not be returning" to the show. No reason for her departure was cited. Unfortunately, the perfect replacement for Joel, Top Chef judge and professional chef Tom Colicchio, will not be taking over as the reality series' host (damn!). Instead, the show's producers are currently scouring to find a replacement for Joel. Top Chef 's second season was announced by Bravo last month, but no return date has been set for the series' ten-episode sophomore season. Stay tuned as this story develops. UPDATE (6/27): Bravo has now confirmed the above story .

Have a Burning Question for Team Darlton, Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly, or Michael Emerson?

Lost fans: you don't have to make your way to the island via Ajira Airways in order to ask a question of the creative team or the series' stars. Televisionary is taking questions from fans to put to Lost 's executive producers/showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse and stars Matthew Fox ("Jack Shephard"), Evangeline Lilly ("Kate Austen"), and Michael Emerson ("Benjamin Linus") for a series of on-camera interviews taking place this weekend. If you have a specific question for any of the above producers or actors from Lost , please leave it in the comments section below . I'll be accepting questions until midnight PT tonight and, while I can't promise I'll be able to ask any specific inquiry due to the brevity of these on-camera interviews, I am looking for some insightful and thought-provoking questions to add to the mix. So who knows: your burning question might get asked after all.

BBC Culture: Matthew Weiner: Mad Men’s creator on its final episodes

The creative force behind the period drama talks about where his characters are as his show begins its final episodes. “We left off with everyone’s material needs being met in an extreme way,” says Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner of where we last saw the characters on his critically acclaimed period drama when the show went on hiatus 10 months ago. “Then the issue is, what else is there?” That is the central question with the return to US TV of the AMC hit, one demanding to be answered by both the show’s characters, and its creator whose success is the envy of the television industry. Mad Men has been a defining part of Weiner’s life for the last 15 years. He wrote the pilot script on spec while he was a staff writer on CBS’ Ted Danson sitcom Becker in 1999, using it to land a writing gig on HBO’s The Sopranos in 2002. It would take another five years, filled with multiple rejections, before the first episode of Mad Men would make it on the air. Someone with less determination or vision